Phillies reliever Ken Giles was one of the team’s few bright spots and one of the league’s best rookies last season, throwing 46 innings with a 1.18 ERA and 64/11 K/BB ratio, but the 24-year-old right-hander was a mess Wednesday night in his first appearance of the year.
Giles walked three of the seven Red Sox batters he faced and threw just 15 of 31 pitches for strikes before being yanked with the bases loaded by manager Ryne Sandberg. And his fastball, which often reached triple-digits as a rookie, topped out at “only” 96 miles per hour.
One bad appearance normally isn’t a big deal, especially when it’s a season debut, but Giles also struggled during spring training with a 6.08 ERA and 12 walks in 13 innings. However, when asked Wednesday night if he’s pitching through an injury Giles insisted: “I’m physically fine, nothing is wrong with me.”